After I left school, I knew that I wanted to start working as soon as possible so when I saw the advert for an Apprenticeship within SWFRS I thought it seemed like the perfect option. Not only was I learning a lot of new skills, but I was able to earn money at the same time. This Apprenticeship was particularly appealing to me because the Service is such a highly respected public sector organisation, and I wanted to be able to learn more about its role in the community.
Once successful at the selection process, I started working within the Accounts department where I learned about the purpose of petty cash, banking, invoicing customers etc. Since then I have secured a role within the Service’s Procurement department where I have learnt about placing orders for the Service and paying invoices to suppliers which has been really enjoyable.
In addition to learning about my role I have also had the opportunity to learn more about other roles within the Service such as Firefighters and Control staff. I have had the opportunity to take part in a “Firefighter for the Day” team building day. This was a good experience because we tried abseiling, watched a demonstration which showed the techniques used to remove people trapped in vehicles, tested out the hydraulic equipment and did a series of tasks in the Breathing Apparatus (BA) complex including trying on the BA sets and attempting the “crawl cages”.
During my induction I also had the opportunity to sit in a car whilst a fire crew cut me and a colleague free. I have also visited our Control room in Pontyclun where we listened to previous training calls.
All of these experiences were fun but they also helped to open my eyes to the tasks that Firefighters and Control staff have to carry out on a daily basis to protect the community and this helped me understand how my role plays a part in everything that is achieved within the Service.
South Wales Fire & Rescue Service is a really good organisation to work for and the people have been friendly and welcoming since the day I started. There is a sense of team spirit and everyone is always happy to help. For these reasons I would recommend that anyone interested in a career within the Service should definitely pursue it because in my personal experience, applying for a job here was the best decision I have made. I would also say that any women interested in applying should definitely do so, and not be put off by the stigma that the Fire & Rescue Service is a man’s world.